You are my heroes

To the editor:

How many of our people take the time to thank the law enforcement professionals who are protecting and serving our citizens? I can tell you, not many. The officers who are committed to their jobs are also a son or daughter, husband or wife and a parent to children of their own.

They go home after telling a child that his father is paralyzed from a vehicle accident and won't ever be able to play football with him again, to making sure their own children are on the school bus at 7 o'clock the next morning. The officers are highly trained in dealing with crisis, but they are also human. They have hearts, too.

I can only sadly imagine what it would be like to notify a family that their loved one is not coming home or to remove a young child from the extremely hazardous conditions of a meth house, though officers are faced with these situations on a regular basis. I would have difficulty going home after watching someone die to take care of the daily household routine, but they continue on.

They have chosen their careers and take pride in what they do, but a little appreciation would go a long way. I understand the emotional impact associated with a critical incident and would like to acknowledge all of the public safety officers for handling it with professionalism. You are my heroes. Thank you for a job well done!

Karen Spencer

Baker City

A lost stranger shows up at door

To the editor:

On the day after Thanksgiving, a stranger showed up at my door. Lost, scared and lonely, he didn't know where to go. Every passing truck prompted him to pause and lift his head, listen carefully, and then quickly return his nose to the ground, sniffing for anything familiar. I had never seen a bloodhound before, but I soon discovered that this fellow had been in my neighborhood for several days.

It took a day and the following morning, and a little more than coaxing, before police officers and I were able to capture this scared, but very friendly, hound and place him in the care of the Animal Clinic. I was sure that such a valuable and loving dog would be located by his owners within a few days. But that wasn't the case. He had no identification and no one came calling.

When I heard that his time was up, I couldn't let him die. My only immediate option was to adopt him myself. That worked out fine, except for the fact that I do not have the means to house and care for such a large and active animal.

But someone told me about Best Friends of Baker, Inc., the local nonprofit animal rescue group that works to find foster homes and permanent families for the homeless dogs and cats of our area. Through them I found a temporary home for the bloodhound and later a loving family who eagerly adopted him.

Since joining this group of compassionate and committed animal lovers, I have heard story after story of happy endings. I know that I can't save every animal out there, but what one person alone cannot do, many people working together can. Thanks to the police department, the Animal Clinic, the foster families and the members of Best Friends, many animals are finding good homes in Baker City.

Annie Lambeth

Baker City

Ron Saxton good for State of Oregon

To the editor:

Seven years ago, I formed an economic development committee around the concept of andquot;relationship-based business recruitment.andquot; My goal was to establish a strong rapport between Baker County business leaders and Portland business leaders that would increase our visibility as a business expansion location.

We met with many fine people in Portland, but none of them expressed more interest and support than Ron Saxton.He rolled up his sleeves, made very good suggestions, and followed through with everything he promised to do.

That was the first time I had ever met Ron Saxton.

Today, he is running for Oregon Governor.I am convinced that Ron has the skills, knowledge, and proper motivation to make a huge, positive difference for our state.

I am voting for Ron Saxton. He has a special place in his heart for our community, and will help us make Baker County and our entire state a better place.

Ron will be at the Geiser Grand Hotel at noon on Monday, April 17. Please make plans to be there and ask questions. I think you will see what I do: a great leader for Oregon.

Brian D. Cole

Baker City

Build a new middle school

To the editor:

I would like to express some thoughts about the proposals for the Baker School District Middle School.

I have taken the tour through the Middle School complex, and I encourage everyone to take advantage of this activity. The tour is a real eye-opener, and provides a wealth of factual information.

The Helen Stack building is old. It was built to serve 150 students. The present student body at the middle school is over 300. The electrical system is not adequate to support the requirements of today's educational system. The classrooms are too small to properly serve the student body. The restrooms and the athletic dressing rooms are totally inadequate and are a disgrace to our educational system.

The stairways to the upper floor of the present middle school are way too narrow to serve the numbers of students in the building. This is a daily safety concern, and a major problem in the event of an emergency.

A portion of the gymnasium has been condemned and is unusable. The top portion of the walls of the gym are held together with long steel rods as a result of defects discovered after an earthquake in this area several years ago.

It has been my experience, over the years, that estimates for remodeling an older structure have been understated by 20 to 35 percent when compared to the ultimate actual cost of that remodeling. This is caused by increases in labor and material cost and by discovery of items which required attention and action which we not anticipated in the original cost projection.

Only a 10 percent overrun in the projected cost of remodeling the Helen Stack building would make that project equal the projected cost of a brand new middle school complex.

I sincerely urge the voters of Baker School District 5J to cast a ballot indicating a desire for a new middle school.

John M. Brown

Baker City

Joseph for OTEC

To the editor:

I support Randy Joseph's candidacy for the OTEC Board. Randy is a forward thinker with the knowledge and maturity to help advance the prospects for development of renewable local energy sources. Sources in addition to BPA will eventually be needed. Electric generation from sources such as natural gas, coal, petroleum and nuclear would occur at distant locations and drain money from the community, whereas local renewable generation would help the local economy.

Paul Wares

Medical Springs

Writer has a point for Christians

To the editor:

While I do not know Richard Fox, nor which church he belongs to, I applaud him for having the courage to make statements that could be true for every church in Baker County. Name one church that couldn't do more. Perhaps Fox was encouraging us as Christians to reach out to those who are interested, but not quite sure how to take that first step. Or to tell someone about Jesus who doesn't know him.

I have seen steady growth in my church, and I'm sure others are growing as well.

To answer some of Gary Dielman's questions, if you read the andquot;Read this before you write a letter,andquot; you would know that the Baker City Herald welcomes letters on any issue. That includes religion.

As as to whatever happened to the big survey ... maybe you already have the answer to that. Would you have the Herald put letters containing religious views, thoughts and opinions in its own little space and only on Fridays while Your Views can be placed on the op-ed page whenever you want? How biased.

There are thousands of Christians in Baker City. And I am proud to be one of them.

Tracy Lovisone

Baker City

Vote for Joseph

To the editor:

I am writing to encourage your vote for Randy Joseph in the current election for a representative from Baker County to the OTEC board of directors. I have become acquainted with Randy over the past several years and am very impressed with his level of interest and involvement in current energy issues. He is well informed and dedicated to helping bring about positive change in our rural area's approach to energy acquisition and utilization.

Take a few minutes to read his statement in your OTEC ballot and see for yourself that he is a very clear-headed and forward-thinking individual. Randy was motivated enough to get on the ballot by collecting 250 signatures, and I believe he will continue to work hard for us as an OTEC board member.

Carolyn Kulog

Baker City

Five cents a day

To the editor:

Spring is a time of renewal and nourishment. It brings green grass, budding trees and shrubs, colorful flowers and a sense of anticipation for the beauty God has created. It also brings heartbreak, struggle for life and often times death for the unwanted and uncared for newborn dogs and cats without homes. They die of disease or starvation, sometimes they are abandoned in some out-of-the-way place, or they may be surrendered to a facility for disposal. They are also a product of God's grace and creation, and death need not be their fate.

If each citizen of Baker County contributed just five cents a day, at the end of one year there would be $273,750 to help alleviate this problem. If this contribution continued for four years, an amount totaling $1,095,400 would be available to purchase land and construct a humane shelter for our county. Your five cents a day could be translated into four large mochas a year, or two movies and popcorn a year, or dinner for three at McDonald's, or dinner for one at a full service restaurant, or one bottle of wine, or maybe a manicure or four packs of cigarettes.

Best Friends of Baker, Inc., a non-profit, unpaid home network of volunteers, work seven days a week, if they are asked to, to find homes for unwanted and abandoned pets, providing shelter through foster homes sometimes boarding animals when foster homes are unavailable. They spay and neuter pets before adoption takes place. They provide assistance to families to spay and neuter as resources are available. If they are presented with an animal that needs medical care, Best Friends steps up to the plate. They advertise weekly in the newspaper, via posters and on to place homeless animals.

The ultimate goal for Best Friends of Baker is to construct a center/shelter to facilitate finding homes for needy animals, to promote spay/neuter education, and to ultimately eliminate the sad part of spring that comes with unwanted animals. Best Friends of Baker can be reached at 519-PETS (7387) and donations mailed to: P.O. Box 183, Baker City, Oregon, 97814.

Susan Castles

Baker City

Why is church criticism on op-ed?

To the editor:

Rev. Richard E. Fox recently wrote a letter to the editor accusing unnamed churches in Baker City of not evangelizing enough saying, andquot;Without an evangelistic outreach that's outside the walls of any building, we won't reach the lost.andquot; He neither names the churches he's referring to nor presents one piece of evidence to back up his claim that andquot;there's not a steady growthandquot; in our religious community in Baker City.

In the past Rev. Fox has written letters to the editor on more than one occasion complaining that his parishioners are not tithing enough to his church. Why, I ask myself, is he going public with a problem that should be handled entirely within his congregation.

And I also ask, why does the Baker City Herald editorial board approve the printing of Rev. Fox's completely unspecified and unfounded accusations. At the very least, the Herald might consider Steve Culley's suggestion to the Herald that it relegate letters with religious content to the Friday religion page.

By the way, whatever happened to the big survey of its readers asking for suggestions of how the Herald might modify its letter-to-the-editor policy? The suggestions were sent in and published. Then nothing.

Gary Dielman

Baker City